Sunday, February 7, 2021

What's with branding and logos?

 My friend Steve Williams of Scooter in the sticks fame asked questions, and he deserves answers.

"Where will the new logo appear? A new logo for the blog? A new blog? On a T-shirt?"

Some answers are simple and straightforward:

Definitely not a new blog. If this blog's confines become too much, the blog will evolve, there won't be a new blog; but... 

... the YouTube channel will adapt to featuring bicycle content and as I began to prepare for that, I felt that the Brompton bits will need their own context, hence the logo. It still needs words. This morning in the shower "the fold" came to mind. I think that works for me.

On a T-shirt? I've never done that. Bill Leuthold of Rocket and me gave me a T-shrt with his blog branding on it. I generally avoid all branding on clothing if possible. To every rule there are bound to be exceptions. My two armoured moto jackets are those exceptions. I have badges sewn on those jackets for ModernVespa.com, the world's best Vespa forum, for the Vespa Club of Canada, to commemorate my Vespa jaunt in Tuscany, to mark the first 10,000 miles commuting on my Vespa, and yes... the logo for Life on Two Wheels is sewn on there too.

I have debated getting stickers made for the new Brompton adventures logo and sticking them on my bike and on the Vespa. The jury's still out on that one.

Mostly the new logo will serve on the vlog to brand videos that are Brompton specific.

Why bother?

I suppose that's really where I should focus this post.

I have always been interested in branding.

Branding was something that was only an option for the largest fanciest companies, and logos were the sine qua non of every branding exercise. Growing up with 1960's TV culture in the suburbs, logos were prominent everywhere, for grocery and drugstore chains, gas stations, TV and radio stations, and other large national retailers.

When, many years later, building my own web presence became possible, branding became something I could do too.

And so it began. I could brand myself, brand my ideas, brand the vehicles of my modes of expression, both tangible and intangible.

My first logo was for my personal web site. I wrote the code for that site from scratch. Computer technology went from the beast I thought would doom my career, to a beast I managed to tame and that helped to advance my career. I personally wrote all the code for my firm's web site with the result that my firm was one of the first law firms in Canada with a web presence.

My early-adopter computer literacy made it a no-brainer for me to co-opt @, one of the dominant iconic internet symbols as a basis for my personal logo.

My personal web site dates from 1997. Until then I used my law firm's web site to publish my ideas. In 1997 I left the firm to take on new challenges. I couldn't give up having a web site. My dear friend Andrew got in touch at about the same time to suggest that I snap up my name in the .org domain. and that is how masse.org was born. The logo came along just a little later.

My next foray into branding came along much later, in 2015, when I redesigned this blog. That was when the Life on Two Wheels logo was born.


That was back when my life was caught up in a slow motion explosion. I am glad I documented that. It was among the most amazing and enriching experiences of my life.

An opportunity came along in the wake of all that change to teach records management in the context of corporate governance. Once more branding exercises more or less imposed themselves: one for the cover of the book I wrote...


... and one for the related governance consulting business...


So perhaps now the inevitability of the new logo for Brompton adventures becomes more apparent.

None of the foregoing branding exercises generate anything resembling income. In that respect these are are not sources of tangible value. In fact, after mulling it over, even if Brompton videos generate a lot of traffic, I'm pretty sure that I don't want to monetize the YouTube channel. I find YouTube advertising increasingly annoying and intrusive. It's as if the algorithm is being used to make the experience of watching YouTube videos you like so painful that you'll opt for the paid subscription to get rid of the advertising.

There you have it Steve.

My love of branding is just a hobby. Something I do just for fun, as I enjoy masquerading as a bunch of logo-worthy enterprises.

10-year-old me would be so impressed.

Although in truth, my logos would fail to tear his attention away from flat screen TVs, iPhones, iPads, AirPods, GPS, proximity sensors in the car, all the remote controlled lights and thermostats... 

2 comments:

Massimo said...

As someone who also has a distaste for clothing with conspicuous branding, I’d make an exception for a Life2Wheels branded t-shirt!

David Masse said...

That's extremely kind of you Massimo... but I will spare you the pain... by not printing any T-shirts LOL!!

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